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ArHi: Innocence to a half-mad city [Complete] (Page 11)

-Loki- Groupbie
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Posted: 02 May 2016 at 3:59pm | IP Logged
A store named watching...A storekeeper with a red hairband...
Old watches...
Stolen tea-bags...
An inner voice that is delightfully liberating...

I love it all. 

It is beautiful indeed to observe people working their hands...watchmakers, fountain pen repairers, musicians, auto mechanics, carpenters, pipe welders even... 







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RockBarbieserialwatcher16

samarablog Senior Member
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Posted: 03 May 2016 at 2:04am | IP Logged
Is it me or tour writing in always so mysterious? 
I take my time and try to read slowly, to find if there is any other meaning to this.. 
I find his story of watch so heart warming.. 
Even the end, watching as a name of a shop.. 
And more wondering from my side.. 

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RockBarbieserialwatcher16

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Posted: 03 May 2016 at 7:41am | IP Logged
By liberating, I mean this...

"In here she is indomitable. In here his status in the society will do nothing to her. In this shop, he is a simpleton with nothing to offer because she is the queen and the red hair band is her crown"

This is enough for me. I admire him much already. Oh, and this reticent Khushi too. :) 

This is also the first time I am saying the following - I am very interested to see more of Aman and Arnav. A&K can be friends or something :P  

I hope Arnav finds enough motive in life to mend the watch. Perhaps, Khushi can help add a second set of working dials keeping the current defunct set precisely intact? 

P.S.: I love to read comments on your threads. All such beautiful minds! :) 
P.P.S: Allow me to say it officially one more time - I am absolutely smitten with your writing...and by extension you. 

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RockBarbieanarshirk2127

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Posted: 03 May 2016 at 11:38pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by samarablog

Is it me or tour writing in always so mysterious? 
I take my time and try to read slowly, to find if there is any other meaning to this.. 
I find his story of watch so heart warming.. 
Even the end, watching as a name of a shop.. 
And more wondering from my side.. 


Mystery is good :=)
vgedin IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 05 May 2016 at 10:03pm | IP Logged
Unres on Pg 9 

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RockBarbie

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Posted: 08 May 2016 at 11:43am | IP Logged

Chapter 3: When Saturn finishes its revolution

"Who was that guy?"

Khushi looks up and finds herself face to face with her fraternal twin, Payal. "What?" Khushi winces as her neck groans with sudden movement.

"The guy. That good looking, expensive suit-wearing, wild haired limping guy. You know the one to who you offered food and shelter?" Payal gestures her hands around.

"Ah. Arnav." Payal's annoyance at Khushi's monosyllabic answer is palpable.

"And?" Payal prods not to gently.

"He tripped and busted his toe. Came in. I offered water. He said his blood sugar was low and he asked for chocolate. I gave him. That's all." Khushi uses the tone that's reserved for children. Her neck and upper back starts to hurt after being hunched for hours. Payal closes in on her and presses her palm at the base of Khushi's neck. Khushi's shoulders sags in relief.

"Is he coming back?" Payal's question startles Khushi.

"Payal." Khushi's tone is steely.

"Hey, did I tell you I am installing some security cameras inside the store this month." The rapid change in topic doesn't reduce the hot flashes of anger that are bursting through Khushi's skin.

"Don't." Khushi's rigidity makes the impromptu massage awkward.

Payal drops the topic and vacates the store, leaving huffed words behind.

Khushi doesn't calm down for hours. She sits in her workstation with a stiff posture, eyes vacant and mind distant. "Please God. Not this again. The scab on my skin haven't let me forget." Her prayers were quiet ones. Her heart didn't stop trying to crawl out of her ribcage.  

-----------------------------------------------

"Last night's party was a success." Anjali's announcement brings genuine smile on Lavanya's face.  Lavanya pinched Arnav's thigh when he tried to open his mouth. He promptly shuts up and crams an entire toast just so the bitter words trying to escape his throat stay put.

"Congratulations," Lavanya says warmly.

Anjali preens when attention is directed towards her. Arnav downs a tall glass of lemonade without saying anything.

"I didn't see you contributing anything to the cause Chotey." Of course Anjali would drag him to a conversation he wasn't interested in following.

"I did contribute. Just not the way you expected me to or wanted to." Arnav smiles, all teeth and no humor.

"Enlighten us." She says carelessly, knowing the structure of the impending argument and finding ways to nail Arnav.

"I decided to become a vegan last night." Arnav says brightly. Lavanya looks taken aback along with the rest of the family. "I am sure Page 3 will cover it when they write about your party."

"Is this a joke?" Anjali's voice was normal but there was a storm brewing in her eyes.

"Nope." Arnav smile is big and full of teeth and unquantified emotion when he flashes it around the dining table. "I was inspired."

"Bull shit." Shyam chirps behind tall glass of milk.

Irony was never this bright.

"You throw tantrums like a baby when Naani asks you not to eat chicken." Anjali countered.

"People change all the time Anjali." Arnav quips.

"Not overnight." Anjali is quick. Lavanya watches the exchange with a worried expression. She nudges Arnav hoping he would take a hint. If he gets it, he doesn't show.

"You did."

Arnav's words invite silence as their new company. Anjali is furious. Arnav is disappointed in himself Stupid. Should have shut up. Shouldn't have done this. Shouldn't have said it.

It is when she draws out her words he knows he has crossed the line. She doesn't yell. She doesn't cry. She doesn't flinch at his allegation. She sips her juice slowly and readies for battle. Lavanya finds his hand underneath the table and clasps it in hers.

"I guess I did." Anjali shrugs at the collective surprised faces staring at her. "Excuse me." She smiles at Lavanya and cocks her head at Shyam. Shyam scrambles to his feet and follows her.

"Even when she forfeits, she manages to make me look like a super loser," Arnav mutters angrily. Lavanya's nails leaves dents on his wrist.

"Let's go for a drive," she drags him away from the now almost empty table.

-----------------------------------------------

"Why don't you drive anymore?" Lavanya smoothly navigated to far lane and took a sharp right to enter a smaller road.

"He has lost his hand-eye coordination to adulthood," Aman's deep voice cuts over from her left.

Lavanya's impromptu picnic seemed better and better with every passing moment. Arnav was sprawling on the backseat and was watching the scenery go by.

"How did you find this place?" Arnav ignores the obvious jibe and Lavanya's condescending snigger sent in his way.

"My client went bankrupt. I bought it off of him for a fairly decent price. He was in desperate need of money and I helped him out." Aman turned to look at Arnav to answer. "I had some renovations made and today seemed like a good day to show you two."

"Thanks Aman." Arnav's earnestness for a simple gesture is sweet. Aman smiles sincerely in response.

"I swear, you two are like adorable puppies." Lavanya coos. Aman snorts a laughter, Arnav makes an unpleasant gesture.

They spent the rest of the drive to lake house exchanging raunchy jokes, bad humor and crappy anecdotes. Arnav would have it no other way.

"I going to name this place The Black sheep'. Suits us, don't you think?" Aman pushes the door open and pulls his friends in.

"Us?" Lavanya asks glances around the vast expanse of the property. Its bafflingly beautiful and endearing in its emptiness.

"I bought it for the three of us. Got three set of keys made, put your name in contract and everything." Aman stood in the middle of what could be a living room, hands on his hips and basked in the late afternoon sunlight that streamed through floor to ceiling windows.  "You are co-owners of sorts now."

Arnav and Lavanya were aware of Aman's generosity. But this beat every act of kindness he has shown in the past.

"Why?" Lavanya asks peering through windows. "Why Black Sheep?"

Arnav looks away, biting his lip. Aman smiles gently at her. "My family thinks I have a disease since I like both men and women. Arnav's family has issues with his existence and his morality. You, my dear Lavanya, showed your family the middle finger and defied the path they set out for you. Our families tolerate us. They don't want anything to do with us but don't want to alienate us completely - which by the way would have been a f**king blessing. Our families cringe when someone they know ask about us. But they never shy away from using the conveniences that comes from knowing us. They are emotionally vacant when it comes to what we want but have multitude of problems when it comes to who we are. This house, is my sanctuary. It can be yours too. If you want, that is."

Arnav's smile was an answer enough.

Lavanya turns around and joins the two men. "I am putting my feet down for threesomes."

Aman's laughter response was lacking the edge and melancholia. Arnav felt his shoulder lose some of its tension as he leaned on his friends.

"Why not?" Arnav's voice held mock indignation. "Are we not hot enough for you?" He links his arm with Aman.

Lavanya's eye roll is epic. Her smile doesn't waver. "To watch, yes. To participate? No way. Too weird, honestly." She is kind enough not to disclose her sex life with Arnav in front of Aman. It wouldn't be weird. It would be heartbreaking. She wants the carefree smile to stay on Aman's face as long as possible. He deserves it. Hell, all of us deserve it, she thinks idly.

The joint laughter of the three brightens an already bright day.

"If this is a haven, then no outsiders are allowed." Arnav says it first. He knows the other two are already thinking about it. "No girlfriends, boyfriends allowed."

Aman grunts. "You two are in a relationship Arnav. How is that going to work out?"

"Not here. In this place we carry no relationships, no shared history outside our friendship. We are three people who know one another better than anyone - even our own families. We can't bring our work here either." Arnav finds himself passionate about the place that he now partially owns since about eleven minutes.

"You are always working." Lavanya isn't either condescending or accusatory. She is stating things as is. He adores her for being this way.

"You are right. Here I won't." It's that simple.

A beat of silence later Aman chimes in. "Sounds like a good rule."

"I am agreeing to this because it will be so much fun to see two workaholics twiddle their thumbs in the middle of nowhere and itching to reaching their gadgets."  Lavanya's smile is picture worthy.

"Uff please. Speak for yourself." Arnav's haughty response elects another bout of laughter.

Lavanya waits out till the collective laughter slows. "I kind of like this place the way it is. Furniture would kill the roomy vibe."

"Except for a grandfather clock." Aman agrees Lavanya's suggestion.

Arnav's private smile goes unnoticed. "I'll find you one." Aman and Lavanya look at him with matching surprised looks.

"You don't like watches in general and the one watch you own doesn't work." Aman snorts.

Arnav shrugs in response. "But you do. So I'll find you one." He says again.

Aman's eyes soften at that. He nods bashfully reigning in his feelings for his friend. Aman desperately tries to keep his feelings at bay. But then Arnav does something incredibly kind like this or be a great friend which makes his heart claw and tear its cage to be let free. Just to lean in a little more and cross the line. He bites his lip hard and smiles. That's all he can do for now.

Lavanya doesn't comment instead she leans a little towards Aman offering strength and support in his self-made misery.

"Let's go for a swim," Aman picks up Lavanya as he stands making her shriek in laughter.

"Let me down you tool!" Lavanya's yell is drowned by Aman and Arnav's laughter as the two men run towards the lake. They all fall together, clothing still on, into the lake.

-----------------------------------------------

"Universe doesn't cooperate. It tries everything in its arsenal to find a way to f**k you up. All we can do is try. Many of us have to try more. Some of us, this small subset of this unorderly f**ked up species that is humanity, keep losing every fight we walk into. We make money, lose a bit of integrity, chip away morals along the line and get disliked by people we are expected to rely on. We are universe's win, in a way. And here we are -"

"Arnav, shut up." Lavanya swats in his direction lazily. They are lying on the bank of the lake on old tarp covered by a thin sheet. Evening is a hum around them and the honeyed air settles into their bones.

Aman holds his gaze for a moment and offers a half-smile. Arnav grins in response and stops his self-deprecating, misery filled monologue.

There would be time for that later. Now, it wasn't about the darkness the three of them carried in their hearts. The venom that was thrown in their direction was neatly bottled and stowed away in a bone's crevice. The would hold it till end of time. They have the power to destroy people but the process of it would destroy them more.

How could one stand a chance to win when everything and anything they ever wanted was already lost?

-----------------------------------------------

"I am sorry for last night." Khushi looks up from an intricate looking model. Payal hovers few feet away from her.

"You get testy whenever a guy walks into the store and strikes up a conversation." Khushi rests her chin on her palm. "Let it go."

Payal looks away. "What are you working on?" She asks a moment later.

Brightness blooms on Khushi's place. "A couple of years ago these people made this incredible watch. They have mimicked planetary revolution around the Sun on a watch. Entire solar system on your watch. How amazing is that?!"

"It does sound amazing." Payal accepts. "Are you trying to recreate that?"

Khushi laugh is brimming with self-deprecation. "The amount of mathematics that goes into making a watch like that is astronomical. Pun totally intended." She stops there and turns to watch the street from her corner. Streets are empty on a Sunday evening but they get a good number of customers on Sunday.

"It isn't surreal to see movements on planets on your wrist. It is magical. You become part of it, in its movement. Imagine how it would feel to see Saturn making just one round on your watch and thirty years have passed while doing so." Khushi's voice holds regret.

"Maybe you should start working on it pronto." This is the apology Payal offers. Khushi smiles and turns to her workbench.

"I am." Khushi's acceptance makes Payal smile wanly.

The sisters have grown without parents since they were teenagers. Each took the role of parent when the other was down. Khushi notes belatedly that since the disaster that has been her life in the past, Payal is yet to step down from parental role.

Maybe it's time to change that status quo, she wonders as she pulls a notebook and pencil to workout mathematics. A genius when it comes to mathematics, machinations of watch making but didn't even pass high school. Father would have been so disappointed, she smiles inwardly and gets to work.

TBC

The watch Khushi is talking about is real. Here is the link: Rotating Planets



Edited by RockBarbie - 09 May 2016 at 2:06am

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vgedin IF-Dazzler
vgedin
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Posted: 08 May 2016 at 11:52am | IP Logged
The one thing I often start to think when I read your stories (ones like Gravity, Adaptation or this one) is that there is more warmth in grief and pain than there is in joy - and that is perhaps why we are all masochists at some level. I know I said the same thing in my previous comment but I couldn't help but repeat. 

Even when you escape to forget the pain and enjoy a few moments of respite, you revel in the fact that you don't really expect much from life in the first place - because all you want is already lost. Which means there is no scope for further disappointment. If that is not comforting, I don't know what is. Arnav - who has nothing left to lose, Lavanya who probably knows her love is not reciprocated the way she deserves, and Aman, who will always have to underplay his love - he won't even have the luxury of expressing it once and allowing himself the closure of heartbreak. 

I suppose the issue with Anjali is that she still has expectations. That coupled with her almost delusional outlook makes life difficult for her and everyone around her. 

Everyone has said so already, but I will say it anyway. In melancholy there is melody, and that melody when put in words is your writing. Wistful, delicate, beautiful. 




Edited by vgedin - 08 May 2016 at 9:31pm

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SANJANA9167 IF-Sizzlerz
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Posted: 08 May 2016 at 12:48pm | IP Logged
Nice update
Three frnds find thier solace at a serene place but blach sheep !? Is too funny for aman explanation.
They lost what they want!? What does it mean,why anjali always behind arnav .
Khushi and payal seems like faced more odd days without parents.
Nice one waiting for next

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RockBarbieserialwatcher16

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